Mike McKay's Blog
Thursday, February 19th, 2015 by Mike McKay
February 19, 2015: The 101 Number One Song of the Day was the product of a band from Scotland who were raised on a steady diet of sweet Memphis soul and the sounds of Motown.
They were formed in Glasgow and got their big break opening for Eric Clapton during his comeback concert in London in 1973. Not long after they embarked on a no fills tour of America using second hand equipment borrowed from the Who. They scored a number one song during this week in 1975. It’s the Average White Band and Pick Up the Pieces.
Wednesday, February 18th, 2015 by Mike McKay
February 18, 2015: The 101 number one song of the day got its beginning because of idol worship – it certainly wasn’t because of talent.
The song’s producer, Snuff Garrett said he had two idols growing up: one was Roy Rogers and the other was the father of the man you’re about to hear. The elder man later became Garrett’s neighbor and when the son formed a band he was asked to listen to them and see if they might produce a record together. Garrett remembers thinking that the kid wasn’t a very good singer but maybe, with the help of the father promoting the record, it could be a hit. So, once in the studio, he began mixing him with other singers and when he got through, he said he sounded like Mario Lanza. That may be a slight exaggeration but that song did reach number one this week in February, 1965 for the son of Jerry Lewis. Here’s Gary Lewis and the Playboys (This Diamond Ring)
Tuesday, February 17th, 2015 by Mike McKay
February 17, 2015: The 101 Number One song of the day was written by Bruce Springsteen and originally appeared on his debut album “Greetings From Asbury Park.” But it wasn’t the Boss who made it famous.
He did release it as a single but it bombed. It was then recorded by a new band fronted by a keyboard player who had several hits in the 60s but in the 70s he fell on some hard times, musically speaking. But when his new group recorded Bruce’s song he was back on top. It was number one in America on February 17th, 1977 – for Manfred Mann’s Earth Band – “Blinded by the Light”
Friday, February 13th, 2015 by Mike McKay
February 13, 2015: The 101 number one song of the day was written, produced and recorded by a former San Francisco Disc Jockey who found himself torn between the positive and the negative and the resulting conflict is taking its toll to the day.
His name is Sylvester Stewart and he was among the many young artists first immortalized at Woodstock. His natural optimism and simple upbeat messages in his music reinforced the youth of all races. But he also was constantly being pressured by certain groups who tried to enlist him as a spokesman for their own negative propaganda. The squeeze took its toll and the one time workaholic became an alcoholic and he spiraled downward into a drug induced pit which led him to show up for concerts hours late, if he showed up at all. Eventually, he became a recluse. But on February 13, 1970 he was riding high – on the charts when his most recent release arrived on top of Billboard’s Hot 100 – Sly and the Family Stone – Thank You for Lettin’ Me Be Myself)
Thursday, February 12th, 2015 by Mike McKay
February 12, 2015: The 101 number one song of the day stayed on top of the charts for 4 weeks so the fans loved it but the critics hated it calling it, among other things, an unforgiveable transgression.
One wrote of the writer/performer, “Rarely has anyone betrayed his talent so completely.” He had an impressive string of rock and roll hits but this one was different. It was – disco! But it was number one in America on February 12th, 1979. It was also number one in ten other countries for Rod Stewart – Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?
Wednesday, February 11th, 2015 by Mike McKay
February 11, 2015: The 101 # 1 Song of the Day was recorded by a band that was asked to play Woodstock but said no because, they thought, who needs 3 days in the mud? If they had played in that legendary event, it might not have taken them 13 more years to get a number one song.
During the seventies they charted 11 times on Billboard’s Hot 100 but most of those songs peaked no higher than number 30 or so. Perhaps they were destined to be an “80s band” because that’s when their music really started catching on. It was their first single from the Album “Freeze Frame” that got them to the top. It was number one on February 11, 1982 for the J. Geils Band and the classic hit is Centerfold.
Tuesday, February 10th, 2015 by Mike McKay
February 10, 2015: The 101 Number One Song of the Day comes from a group which became known as the oldest most experienced “overnight successes” in the rock era.
They formed in Dayton in 1959 as Greg Webster and the Ohio Untouchables. In the beginning they provided back up vocals for a group called the Falcons whose lead singer was a 19 year old named Wilson Pickett. Over time they made some personnel changes and a name change as well. They kept at it doing local gigs and in the 70s adopted a funky style inspired by Sly and the Family Stone and eventually they became an overnight success which was underscored when they reached number one during this week in 1975 with this: Fire by the Ohio Players.
Monday, February 9th, 2015 by Mike McKay
February 9, 2015: The 101 number one song of the day was written and performed by one half of one of the 60s most influential duos. It was a humorous side of love and loss.
Even though the artist in question was so identified with his former partner, he was no stranger to working alone. In fact early in his career, he had released records under such aliases as Paul Kane, Jerry Landis, and True Taylor. At the time of the release you’re about to hear his longtime marriage had just broken up and Rolling Stone Magazine wrote that it was his most mature and musically sophisticated work which often used marriage as a metaphor. The song was at number one on February 9, 1976 was somewhat tongue in cheek however proving that he was able to laugh through the pain – Here’s Paul Simon with “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover”
Friday, February 6th, 2015 by Mike McKay
February 6, 2015: Phil Spector got together with two buddies from Orange County in Southern California to give new meaning to the term Blue Eyed Soul. It led to this morning’s 101 number one song of the day.
The roots of the act were grounded in two groups: the Paramours, and the Variations. The guys reunited and recorded a couple of songs including one written by Sonny Bono called “Koko Joe.” They appeared on a show with the Ronettes whose lead singer was married to Superstar producer Phil Spector. He liked what he heard and bought the final two and a half years of their contract. A song was written for them based on their favorite song “Baby I Need Your Lovin’” by the Four Tops and that led to the first number for the Righteous Bros. On February 6, 1965 “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling.”
Thursday, February 5th, 2015 by Mike McKay
February 5, 2015: The 101 number one song of the day was recorded by a group whose manager was told repeatedly by record company executives that they just wouldn’t make it in this country. He persisted and proved them wrong – very wrong.
They’d been selling lots of records in their own country for EMI. But their American subsidiary, Capitol Records just weren’t interested saying, “we don’t think they will do anything in this market, i.e., the U.S.” When the record that you’re about to hear was released in the U.K. it went to number one in a single week. Copies of it found their way here and news clips started circulating about their popularity back home. The record would go on to sell more than 15 million copies worldwide making it the biggest selling British single of all time. And it proved the experts here completely wrong when it arrived at the top of Billboards Hot 100 this week in February, 1964 – their first of many number one American hits for the Beatles – “I Want to Hold Your Hand.”